How do I quote fast?

Any quizzer who has ever been to a national-level tournament or in a league with national-level quizzers has seen quizzers quote fast before. Some do it well and some do it quite poorly. The most important this is to know your limitations. The rules state that you are wrong if you fail to speak loudly and clearly. There is some obligation on the judges to be able to follow you, but there is a reasonable limit to what can be expected. If you don’t have a lot of experience speaking fast, if you immediately try to quote as fast as the best fast quoters you have heard, you will likely be slurring words together all over the place. To give you an example of the difference between clean-fast and slurry-fast, take your favorite Mp3 song (or maybe the latest Bible Quiz Podcast) and open it up in Windows Media Player (sorry Mac users). If you scroll through the advanced options you will find that you can double the speed of the conversation. You might start by just increasing to 1.4 times speed. Now open the same Mp3 in Quicktime player and find the option to increase the speed. You should notice a difference. The Quicktime one is harder to understand, right? This is because the algorithm used to speed up the Mp3 in the programs is different. That’s exactly what it’s like being a quizmaster and listen to a sloppy quoter.

The danger of quoting fast is that when you review every week, you might be speaking so fast that your parent or coach who listens to you quote cannot distinguish between “a” and “the” and you might be quoting the verse wrong! The solution to learning to speak fast is exactly the same as the solution to fixing sloppy-fast quoting. Buy a microphone for your computer and record yourself quoting at your fastest rate. Now open the file in either Windows Media Player or Quicktime and slow it down by 50%. Follow along in your portion and see how many of the words you said are understandable. You might even discover that you’re “ghosting” some words. Now slow yourself down until you can hear every single word when you slow the Mp3 down. Practice quoting at that speed over the next few weeks until you get used to it. Then, gradually, increase the speed. You should actually keep the Mp3s you record just so you can track your progress. You’ll be pretty shocked by the difference.

I would also recommend that you know when it’s appropriate to know fast and when it isn’t. First off, every once in a while, you should do a slow-quote when you quote to someone else. This is to make double-sure that you have everything down right. Second, in matches, you should not use your fastest speed when you are quoting one verse. You should only be quoting that fast when you need to. Six or seven verses is where you need to, in most cases. In some cases, if the six or seven verses are small, you don’t need to go nearly as fast.